An Opening Window: Transitioning to Centre Downe Health
You know how they say “when one door closes, somewhere, a window opens”? Yes, well, this is like that. Things are changing at a rapid pace in our professional life at the moment, and we are essentially, along for the ride, and also authors of our own fate. When LRGH announced that part of their restructuring plan would include closing the Holistic Health Center in two months, after 19 years, and two NDs, there was that moment of silence hanging in the air. Then there was a rapid recalibration of thinking into “what could we create in this opening?” Now, as we are coming close to the August 1st date of Drs. Paterson and Cranford stepping into private practice together, there is a lot to be done to set systems in place, but there is a palpable feeling of excitement building in the air around here.
You have all known and come to love Dr. Paterson for his quiet confident way, his steadfastness, and his singular skill in talking to those stubborn muscles and pains in a language that seemingly, only he understands. All of that will still be here, but you will also now be able to share in parts of the environment in which he recharges that internal battery. The views out these “open windows” are of a beautiful, peaceful landscape that we hope will contribute to your pursuit of increased well-being. We are deeply rooted, in New England and more specifically at Centre Downe, in the constant turning of the four seasons. We observe them through the windows on all sides of this 12 sided house. The seasons remind us to keep our internal and external clocks synchronized. Centre Downe is the name that we gave to this property when we first moved here in May of 2008. It is our center, the place we come to calm down, to rest and replenish and to get centered in who we are and what is important to us; where we get to practice walking our talk as NDs in our own lives. It is the center, for us, around which the seasons, the stars, and our lives rotate.
Dr. Paterson has had a long standing commitment to conservation and a relationship with the green world for most of his life. In 2004, he saw this land as a great opportunity to preserve a portion of nature in its pristine state. He managed to acquire the property just before developers who were nearly ready to snap it up and build a bunch of new homes along the edge of Pickerel Pond. Instead, there are 59 acres of mostly undisturbed meadow, gardens, orchards, woodland, marshes, and all the inhabitants of those acres, countless birds, a few bears, beavers, foxes, turkeys, and even a bobcat we spotted once at the end of the driveway.
We do our best to coexist with nature, as she is the original inhabitant here. Gardening, tending orchards, leaving the meadows largely standing so that there is good habitat for medicinal herbs, butterflies, dragonflies and fireflies (wow, are there fireflies!). Leaving the woods largely standing so that there is healthy habitat for animals. We are stewards of this land, blessed to be sharing in it for the time being. While we recognize that what we do here is temporary, we are also aware that we will leave a legacy. Part of housing our naturopathic medical practice here has to do with that tending…of people, of animals, of plants, of soil, of community. And we are rewarded richly by being good to the land, with peaceful green forests blowing in the wind, with colorful flowers to delight our senses, with rich medicines from the herbal medicinary, with a chorus of birdsong all summer long, with a place to feel centered in our purpose. We look forward to sharing this sanctuary now, with you, toward a greater health all around.